Wednesday, September 22, 2021

It goes round and round.

What can I say?  

I had fun at my first fibre festival in almost three years.   

I didn't buy anything in the end, but I got some cute videos of fun stuff.  Including, one of my favourite booths...



Yes, I know.  I really do need to get my knitting machine out and start knitting socks..  I have a few projects to finish first, then socks, here I come.


For this video, I decided to try something new.  Let me know if you like this kind of foolishness and I'll make some more.  




If you like this sort of thing and want to see more of it, here are some things you can do to support me on my creative journey.

- go to youtube and give me a thumbs up!  Or even a subscribe!  That would be awesome
- or pop over to my Etsy shop and support me that way.

Monday, September 20, 2021

The distaff defense

My new hero!  


Self-defence classes never go out of style.

I was looking for a video on how medieval people used to make distaffs (yes, I get bored sometimes), and stumbled on this video.  Thought you might enjoy it.  

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Solving a problem that really bugs me - YES you can make your own drop spindle. For FREE!

When I learned to spin, I also learned to make a drop spindle.  

It's so easy and you can make one out of just about anything.  Improvised drop spindles are everywhere.  

But as I continued my journey into spinning, I learned that most spinners never made their own drop spindle.  Worse, most would-be spinners never start spinning because they are lost looking for the "right" or "proper" equipment.

This is wrong.  

The "right" equipment is the one in your hand.  The "right" time is now.

Our ancestors made spindles out of all sorts of things - and didn't always have time to walk 8 days to the nearest spindle shop to buy a new shaft or whorl to replace a broken one.  What's more, they made enough and good enough yarn to clothe themselves and their families.  The quality of the yarn isn't in the tool - although good tools do help -  The quality of the yarn comes from the spinner.  

So I made a video to try to fix what I see as a big problem in the world.


Watch to the end to be rewarded by cute chickens.


If you like this sort of thing and want to see more of it, here are some things you can do to support me on my youtube journey.

- go to youtube and give me a thumbs up!  Or even a subscribe!  That would be awesome
- or pop over to my Etsy shop and support me that way.


Saturday, September 11, 2021

Doing it in advance - pre-election day and dirty laundry

 Today is one of the days I can pre-vote in our national election; I just hope everyone else doesn't have the same idea.  Usually, these early polling stations are quiet and calm. No crowds.  Just go, vote, and go away.  

I like doing things ahead of time like writing this blog post over a week before it goes live or trying to stay ahead with my youtube videos.  (I can't wait 'till you see the one with the apple - cute chicken awaits you at the end)


The weather is finally starting to cool down, just enough to get outside and do things.  Although we had late rains in the spring, there is less groundwater and with the intense heat earlier in the year, making this summer on the dry side of normal (but not actually a drought where I live because drought is 'less than normal' and when normal is zero... we can't technically get drought in the summer here).  Just about everything in the garden suffered but we got some great fruit harvests.  I've been careful with the water and the well has yet to run dry this year (knock on wood).

The trick to the well is not just using less, but spacing out the water use so that the well has time to recover.  I find using too little water seems to increase the time it takes for the well to refill.  I think it gets clogged up with sand or something.  

A big part of what we do here is re-using water.  Laundry is a great way to do this.  Last year I got my wringer washer out of storage and put it in the garden for my weekly wash.  It is so much fun to use and the plants love the rinse water!



This year, I've been washing things by hand as they get dirty, one or two items per day.  It turns out this method uses less water, but it does require being home each day and more physical effort than having a machine do it for me.  Both are great options.

There is something about washing clothing outside that transforms it from a chore into a meditation.  Mindfulness in laundry.  

A lot of this year has been about mindfulness and slowing down.  Accepting that I can't do what I used to be able to even a year ago.  Learning what new things I can do that I couldn't before. 

Being aware of the growing things.  Observing how the plants grow, or fail to, when the weather is unfriendly.

And planning in advance.  There's a lot of loss with this year's heat and drought, but it is also the time to plan "how can I work with nature to get more trees to grow and make a more sustainable garden?".  

Farming is about observing the now.  Remembering the past - both good and bad.  And doing it in advance to make tomorrow better than today.    


If you like this sort of thing and want to see more of it, here are some things you can do to support me on my creative journey.

- go to youtube and give me a thumbs up!  Or even a subscribe!  That would be awesome
- or pop over to my Etsy shop and support me that way.

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Yarn adventures - where have I been lately?

Yes, I'm still playing with yarn.

The boring obligatory bit about being away and back now.  So glad that's over.  

Why I left blogging?

1. It feels like monologuing.  There isn't much interaction with others.  Even though I'm an extreme introvert, I do need some feedback.  There is something in me that is desperate to feel useful in this world.  That I'm not a waste of space.  I'm not cluttering up the internet with my natter.

That is why youtube is working well, I get measurable interactions.  Thumbs up.  Views.  Quite a few comments.  It's all positive reinforcement to keep on creating.  That I'm adding something of (at least) moderate quality to the internet.  For such a new channel, the feedback has been empowering!

2. Blogging used to be an individual, a keyboard, a journey.  

Then suddenly, blogging became a business.  A main source of income.  And from there, popups demanding my email address, the top (odd number) best or worst whatever.  Guests posts or a whole paid staff to produce/reproduce content.

That's not me.  

The professional blogger has a place in this world, but I don't want to be that person.

I want to be the old-style writer, where it's a curated journal of things I find nifty in this world.  

I worry that by being a blogger, I might fall into that trap.  Somehow I don't think I will.  At least I hope not.  Although I do home to put some discrete ads on here to help fund my creativity.  I'm unlikely to ask anyone for their email address - I hate writing emails.  


So I've been fulfilling my need of sharing elsewhere.  Forums get good feedback and keep the momentum going.  Here are some of the adventures I've been up to.  (hint, click "read more")


Saturday, September 04, 2021

Sewing - the narrow hemmer foot

This last year I've been learning a lot about sewing.

It turns out it takes less time and money to sew my own clothes than it does to try to find something that fits both my style and body.  But sewing means I can make what I want to wear and make it fit.

I do my sewing on my Antique Singer 127 (which is now about 105 years old!).  It's such a kind machine and forgiving.  

One of my favourite feet is the narrow hemmer foot.  It's a bit tricky to use until you figure out that the fabric edge lines up with the edge of the foot before folding over.  Hard to explain, so I made a video:



If you like this sort of thing and want to see more of it, here are some things you can do to support me on my youtube journey.

- go to youtube and give me a thumbs up!  Or even a subscribe!  That would be awesome
- or pop over to my Etsy shop and support me that way.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Am I youtuber? What is that, anyway? And why?

Before the craziness, in early 2020, I decided I wanted to expand how I reach people.  I started a youtube channel.  To be safe, I started with the worlds most boring topic - paint drying.  Seriously.  Paint drying.  I had no plans that anyone would ever, ever, ever watch.  That way I wouldn't be disappointed.  

Writing the book was a blast!  I loved it!  Publishing was... not so much fun, but I learned so much about how books are made and how every tiny decision can affect every other.  Like changing the size of the book by 5mm in one direction can shave off $5 on shipping costs to Europe.  Who knew?  

It has been an interesting journey and behind it all the compulsion to share.  I don't know why I have this, but it drives me and I just want to create things.  

So I made some videos.  I liked it.  So I made some more.  And after a few videos, the guild got in touch and asked a few of us to make a video about linen for a virtual guild meeting.  

Making videos is an incredible amount of work.  1 to 4 hours of work for every minute of finished film (I hope it gets faster with experience).   A lot of work.  But I liked it.  So I set out a plan that I would make 2021 my year of learning youtube and I would make at least one video a month and then...

... I got a serious injury.  They say that it takes 2 to 4 years to recover.  It limits my online time.  And March got even worse with other events.  It's been very much getting enough of the basic chores done around the farm and resting.  A lot of resting.  

But now I'm slowly getting back into things.  I made a few videos and found out that if I want to do a lot more of this video editing, I need to save up for a new computer.  I'm also taking it easy - one or two videos a month.  Trying to focus on quality - so that with each new video, I learn a new skill that makes the video better than the last.

But it's slow this journey - an awful lot like watching paint dry.





(see how I worked that in - yeh, I doubt that will be the only one)

In other news, I'm thinking of blogging again.  Not much.  Not daily, but a bit.  Not sure if anyone is still out there or if anyone even cares about blogs anymore.  They all seem to be professional bloggers with adverts popping up at you from every direction.  (this is me fishing for comments saying "yes, do it" or if I get crickets, I know that I'm monologuing which isn't a bad thing either)

But it's that compulsion to write, to create, to make some mark in this world.  

I have a blog on my new website, crowinghen.ca but I just don't use it.  I think it's because the software is incompatible with my brain whereas blogger is lovely (and still is lovely after all this time away).  

So decisions to make with this blog too.  Do I revive it as it is?  Do I spend time and energy rebranding it and curating old content to match my current place in this life?  This blog is very old and I don't know.  I don't have to make that decision today.  

But I do need to think about income.  I have enough for everyday life, but I left my work at the same time as the injury and if I'm going to get that new computer, I need to have my creative endeavours pay for themselves.  So I've asked Google if they can put some ads on this blog - it's under review.  It's a trickle income, but every penny helps.  


 If you like this sort of thing and want to see more of it, here are some things you can do to support me on my journey.

- go to youtube and give me a thumbs up!  Or even a subscribe!  That would be awesome
- or pop over to my Etsy shop and support me that way.